Wedding Quilt Chuppah

The biggest gift we were given for our wedding was the gift of a handmade quilt that we used as a chuppah from my mom and her Quilty Ladies – from L to R  – Nancy, Judy, Ann, Mom, Miyoko, and Susie. An untold number of stitches done with love over an untold number of hours combined to create a stunning heirloom gift that we are so very honored to have. What is a chuppah, some of you might be asking? In our ceremony we explained: “In the Jewish tradition, marriages take place under a chuppah. A chuppah represents a home. Just as the chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one’s guests – that’s all of you, our family, friends, and loved ones. This symbolic home lacks furnishings to remind us that a home …


Cotton Lawn Wedding Ties for Groomsmen and Fathers

Since I’m sewing dresses for our female wedding attendants and knitting shawls for our mother figures, I wanted to come up with a wearable gift for the male wedding attendants and father figures and ties seemed the logical choice. Of course, going into sewing the ties, I didn’t realize how handmade they really are – by which I mean every single stitch is sewn by hand! But I’m thrilled with the results – I made a lot of absolutely gorgeous ties! Since our wedding is pretty casual, I bought a gorgeous cotton lawn from Britex with a delicate grey floral print – it’s not a Liberty Lawn (it’s from Italy) like I had in my head to find, but it was filed right next to them and fills the role beautifully. I picked a coordinating color to sew a tie for Adam so that he stood out (he is the …


My Rambo Skirt

I try really hard to write catchy intros to my posts that tell about my life at the moment or about what inspired a project or something that will grab you, my dear reader, and make you want to know more. But I’m at a loss for words (which, those of you that have met me in person will know, is something that doesn’t happen often!). I don’t have any more to say about The Rambo Project that I haven’t already said, so I’m just going to jump in and show you this skirt! By now you might recognize the stripes on the waistband as having been cut from a Rambo III turban. (And if you don’t yet, by the end of this month you sure will!). The front button placket also came from the turban. I had such a hard time figuring out what to do with this weird fabric, but …


Betty Bowler Bag in Pink and Green Floral Vintage Barkcloth

I feel a little greedy to admit that most of my sewing is Selfish Sewing.  Sure, my mom gets blouses and dresses, Adam got a Newcastle cardigan, my girlfriends are getting quilts (oh yeah, and then there’s all the sewing and knitting I’m gifting for my wedding that are still in progress). Hmmm… Maybe I’m not so selfish. That’s a nice realization! To celebrate Selfish Sewing Week, I was given the Betty Bowler bag pattern by Swoon and promptly sewed it up for myself! Proudly selfish on this make! I love the fun shape and perfect size of this bag (yes, I like big bags and I cannot lie). The vintage-y shape seemed like the perfect use of this gorgeous pink and green floral barkcloth that I had in my stash. It was clearly once a pair of curtains and had snags, stains, and fading. But boy-oh-boy does it make a …


Pink and Green and Floral and Sexy Ceylon

The sexiest attribute that I can imagine? Self confidence. Forget body shape, size, height, musculature, eyes, lips, whatever. If I can see that someone feels confident in their own skin, I am attracted to them. This dress is my Sew Sexy Sewalong dress because I feel hot in it therefore I am hot in it. While such a modest dress may not be what most people think when they think “sexy”, and honestly, it’s totally not on my first train of thought either, this dress makes me feel so good! The shape is great at highlighting my attributes (defined waist, slender neck),  minimizing my not-as-strong points (hips), and giving the illusion of other strong points (bust gathers FTW). And have I mentioned that it’s a pink and green floral print dress! I love pink! I love pink and green! I love floral print! I love dresses! (Enough with all of …


Goodbye Loretta, Hello Madge

Sometimes growing up is hard to do. For most of my time in San Francisco, I’ve had a little white scooter named Loretta. She represented my feisty, independent, single-gal life. And then I met Adam, and we moved in together, and we got engaged, and he asked me to get rid of Loretta. The request came from a place of love – he would get scared that something would happen to me every time I would ride her. So I agreed, from a place of love and compromise. However, since I sold Loretta last month (pictured above with my 1942 Shirtwaist Dress) and replaced her with a very practical but un-sexy old Subaru (who I just named Madge), I’ve been struggling with the decision. After some deliberation, I figured out that it wasn’t the decision to get rid of Loretta that was bothering me, per se, it was that Madge …


Embroidering My Bomber Jacket

Ideas, stemming from unknown places, out of my control, seem to be taking over my head. My last project, a jacket and backpack, came from a fabric obsession that took over my waking and sleeping thoughts. This project grew from a desire, nay, a need to embroider a piece of clothing.  I have plenty of handwork projects going right now – several shawls I’m knitting for my wedding, a needlepoint organ that’s languishing on the shelf – but a burning need create my own textile through embroidery arose from the creative miasma and demanded attention.   I first thought that I would embroider a floral motif, western shirt style, to the back yoke of a jacket. I went poking through a Flickr group of vintage embroidery patterns and found several ideas (and pinned a few of them). I decided on a jacket pattern, decided on a lovely length of wool from …


The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 1: Pattern and Fabric

Stop what you’re doing and look at this fabric. Off-white wool brocade with delicate gold flowers. Yes, I said wool brocade. Go ahead, stare. But you might want to catch that drool before it hits your lap. Really, you’re not drooling yet? Okay, I’ll chalk it up to the fact that a picture hardly does this beauty justice. Just wait until I get sewing on this project. There. Will. Be. Drool. Since I decided not to sew my own wedding dress (or shall I say the universe and my girlfriends decided for me), I’ve been obsessing about things I could possible sew (and make and do) for my wedding. Concurrently, a part of my brain has been obsessing about finally hand tailoring a jacket for myself. And the two ideas seem to have collided. Because I’ve decided to hand tailor an off-white wool brocade jacket to wear over my wedding dress for …


Floral Knit Cowl

This floral cowl was a fun excuse to learn a new skill. I designed the chart and knit it as a double-knit, so the inside and outside are the same pattern but inverse colors. I figured a little cowl is just a tube so it should be quick and easy to knit, right? Ha! 40 hours of knitting later (and one stripe less than I originally planned!) it’s finally done. But it was worth every (slow) stitch because it’s bright and fun and happy and cheerful and cozy. I knit this from Sublime cashmere-merino-silk DK weight yarn given to me by Minerva Crafts for being a part of their blogger network. It’s a lovely yarn and I would be very happy to use it again in another project. In fact, I’d be tempted to use this same selection of colors to knit myself a little cardigan or a simple pullover. …


1959 Bow Neck Thanksgiving Dress

Well, I’m a day late to my own party with this dress. But I think I have a pretty good reason. You see, I sat down to write this post, showing pictures of my Bow Neck Thanksgiving Dress (for my final contribution to my Bow Neck Blouse Sewalong), on the day after Thanksgiving. I found a quiet corner amidst the chaos of a house very full of family.  And then Adam asked if he and I could get a bit of alone time together, maybe go out for a cup of tea, because I had been in the kitchen cooking for two days straight (one day to bake 5 pies, one day to cook our Thanksgiving meal), and he thought a spot of fresh air away from the chaos would be good for both of us. Apparently, the offer of tea was just a ploy, as he took me to …


Just Some Flannel Pajama Bottoms

Yep, the post title says it all. I made a couple pairs of simple flannel pajama bottoms.  I really had no plan to sew pajamas any time soon, but, as I was putting on my pajamas the other night, I had an Oh-My-Goodness-I-Can’t-Stand-This-Any-More moment. See, most nights I wear oversized t-shirts and flannel pajama bottoms. And I’ve been steadily wearing out my pajama bottoms until I’ve been down to one pair. One cute pair with little pink pigs all over it that I happen to have made in high school. That was a long time ago, and it showed. And I didn’t realize it bothered me until all of the sudden it really did! The only interesting bit about these pajama pants I drafted is that they have pockets. Not that one really needs to use pockets while one is sleeping. But they’re nice to have for the Post-Wakeup-I’m-Still-Such-A-Zombie-I-Can’t-Get-Dressed-For-The-Love-Of-All-That-Is-Holy-Give-Me-Caffeine period …


Enchanted Red Knit Duster – Sylvi Sweater

I feel like an enchanted storybook character in this gorgeous duster. It’s the Sylvi Sweater pattern by Mari Muinonen, published in Twist Collective Winter 2008. I love her designs for their dramatic and playful cables, and plan on eventually knitting several more of her patterns. I used 32 skeins (that’s a LOT of yarn!!! 1760 yards!) of Grignasco Marte yarn. Its’s 60% wool and 40% synthetic. I usually try and knit in all natural fibers, but I found it on an amazing sale which made buying epic amounts of this yarn almost affordable. See my Ravelry project page for more technical details. While the body is knit in moss stitch, the back features an intricate cable pattern over a patch of reverse stockinette. Bobbles make the centers of the flowers. The pattern was simple enough to read for anyone familiar with cable charts, but if you’re new to cables, you might …


Silk Floral Print Anna Dress

I sewed the Anna dress from By Hand London out of a lightweight silk to wear to a girlfriend’s wedding this weekend. It consumed my every free moment last week since I didn’t leave nearly enough time to sew it (since I had a stomach bug on the weekend I had planned on doing most of the work.) But I got it done, and I adore the result! To make sure that the dress would work before I cut out my silk, I sewed the same version of the dress out of a cheaper fabric first, but that version is currently only basted together because, as soon as I saw that it fit and I liked it, I switched to the silk dress. (I will finish it soon). I originally had other ideas for what to wear to this wedding, but the more versions of this dress I’ve seen pop …


Roses on Black Shirtwaist Dress

I made this vintage-style shirtwaist dress form Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. Like my bow-neck blouse from the same book (and made from the same stashed cotton-rayon blend fabric, incidentally), I thought I didn’t like it as I was finishing it up. However, I find myself having worn the dress several times already, so, fortunately, my initial opinion has been proven wrong!


Bow Neck Blouse

I made the bow neck blouse from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I was frustrated and disappointed by the time I finished the blouse. But now that I’ve worn it a couple of times, I wish I could take back those emotions, because I disagree now. I really like the blouse! The fabric is a cotton-rayon blend (I’m guessing) and a gift from a friend. For being such a simple blouse, it took me quite a while to sew, mostly because of the bound buttonholes. I also had to futz with the neckline quite a bit to keep it from choking me. In all, I lowered the front of the neckline by about an inch and changed the shoulder seam a bit. This left the gap in the neckband in the back larger than I might have liked, but wearable. The buttonholes are bound. They turned out okay, but …


Autumnal Wool Floral Pencil Skirt

I am so very excited about this skirt! I found the fabric at SewExpo last year. I don’t remember the vendor and I don’t remember the exact fiber content other than mostly wool. I’ve known since June that I wanted to make a pencil skirt out of it and have finally done so. I love the print on this fabric, especially the fact that, while it is certainly mostly brown tone, there is a significant amount of black so I can wear it with both brown and black.


Brown Floral Print Jeans

Following my recent skinny jeans, I decided to make a pair of lower-waisted jeans, figuring that I would wear them more often. I’ve been trying to sew from my fabric stash but I wasn’t inspired to almost-the-same pair of jeans out of the same denim, so I got distracted by this fabulous floral print.


Woven T-Shirts

I whipped up a couple of woven tees last Saturday afternoon. I used my bodice block and simply took out the darts. I started with a drapey purple fabric (likely rayon) that I had recently pulled out to make my Chevrons, Colorblock, and Derp Skirt. I added a little pocket to the chest to give it some interest. The second shirt I made a bit longer with a V neck. I’m afraid that with the blue color and the V-neck it looks a scrub top. I added pink piping to the neckline to spice it up. Here’s where the ends join. The third shirt I lengthened the sleeves to show off the stripe in the fabric. I widened the back a bit and added darts. I cut the back out of a different fabric because I didn’t quite have enough of the main fabric to fit it all. I played …

Floral Paisley Sundress

My mom gave me the fabric for this dress. It was sitting on her shelf for years. It’s some mish-mash of floral and paisley and I thought it was one of the uglier prints I had ever seen. And then it sat on my shelf for a few years. And the longer it sat there, the more I liked it. Until it grew on me enough that I made a sundress, blouse, and hair kerchief out of it! The dress is totally A-line from the bust. This makes it super comfy in warm weather, albeit rather shapeless. I added a very gathered ruffle to the bottom of the skirt to give it some weight and swing.I think it turned out part hippie, part bohemian, and part muumuu. But I’m okay with that. Sometimes I’ll toss on a simple red ribbon belt. Adding a red belt, shoes, and purse helps to ground …